A “remarkably intense” heatwave with possible record-breaking June temperatures is set to sweep across parts of Europe this week.
It will be caused by hot air moving north from Africa, triggering a sharp increase in hot weather across the continent.
Dani Suri, the Met Office’s chief meteorologist, said temperatures in the “low 30s Celsius” could be expected towards the end of the week, marking a “stark contrast” to the previous few weeks.
These top temperatures will most likely be felt across central and southwest England.
He added: “It’s also going to feel humid and quite muggy – especially at night time – as temperatures could remain in the high teens or low 20s Celsius in places.”
In France, an orange weather alert – the second highest – has been placed on Paris and surrounding areas in preparation for a steep increase in temperatures.
National weather agency Meteo France said the “remarkably intense” heatwave beginning today is expected to last all week with temperatures of up to 40C (104 F) across the country.
The high temperatures are forecast in the French capital from Tuesday, while the city of Lyon could also see the same, according to the agency.
But meteorologist Guillaume Sechet told Le Parisien that these temperatures could feel more like a “terrible” 47C due to humidity.
France has in particular braced itself in a bid to avoid a repeat of Europe’s 2003 heatwave, in which more than 20,000 people died, 15,000 of whom were from France.
In Paris, a series of “cool places” have been established for the vulnerable population, including public buildings and parks.
“Although short-lived, this heatwave could be remarkable for its precocity and intensity,” Meteo France has warned.
Spain’s state meteorological agency AEMET has also issued a “yellow alert” for the upcoming temperatures, which could reach 42C in some areas.
The Baleriac islands are expected to exceed 35C.
Germany’s Deutscher Wetterdienst has issued a warning for the “extreme heatwave” that is forecast to reach highs of 39C across parts of the country, and will peak on Wednesday or Thursday.
A heatwave with record-breaking temperatures also wreaked havoc across Europe in 2018, with heatstroke deaths reported in Spain and devastating wildfires stretching across the continent.
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